The John Lothian Daily Update is a podcast turning the daily JLN hits and takes comments, our original content and the stories and quips in the top box of First Read into a daily podcast.
Hits & Takes
CME Group is launching Micro Bitcoin futures, which will be 1/10 of the size of one bitcoin, which would be worth about $5,800 as of this morning. That compares with the $17,000 price of bitcoin when the CME launched bitcoin futures on the 17th of December in 2017. Some in the crypto community blamed the CME for the cratering of bitcoin prices after the launch of their futures contract made shorting easier. This will significantly reduce the cost of participation in terms of margins, while also giving the options traders a more precise tool to hedge their positions.
ICE’s new exchange in Abu Dhabi traded 8,854 lots, with 6,344 ICE Murban Crude Oil futures and an additional 2,510 Murban related cash-settled derivative contracts traded. There were 27 firms trading on the IFAD. IFAD is ICE Futures Abu Dhabi.
Japan Exchange Group, Inc. (JPX) is establishing a center for advanced research and development, DigiMa Lab. to design a future vision of JPX on April 1, 2021.
The Washington Post is reporting that “Japan’s Kyoto cherry blossoms peak on earliest date in 1,200 years, a sign of climate change.” What I want to know is where I can get my hands on newspaper records in Japan from 1,200 years ago.
Bloomberg is reporting that Goldman Sachs summer interns will work from the firm’s Wall Street offices. The in-person internships will follow a week of virtual training.
Here is the joint statement on the U.S.-EU Joint Financial Regulatory Forum via the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
There were no new donations to the JLN MarketsWiki Education GoFundMe campaign yesterday. Support our efforts to preserve industry history by giving to our GoFundMe campaign.
Have a great day and stay safe and treat people the same way you want to be treated: with respect, equality and justice.~JJL
For the first time, FTSE Russell is adding Chinese government bonds to its World Government Bond Index (WGBI), beginning October 29, 2021. FTSE Russell announced the addition after completing a semi-annual review of global fixed-income and equity markets. Read more details here. ~SC
As Covid-19 Vaccinations Ramp Up, Hesitancy Wanes; Survey shows decline in reluctance, driven by increasing willingness in Southern states and more broadly among Black Americans
Randy Yeip – WSJ
A shrinking percentage of Americans are expressing reluctance to get a Covid-19 vaccine, a positive sign for the efforts to get shots in the arms of enough people to reach herd immunity. The findings come from the latest release of a large-scale survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and developed in concert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics. The most recent survey gauged responses from nearly 80,000 adults between March 3 and March 15.
*****We need more data on this.~JJL
How the U.S. Is Vaccinating Its Way Out of the Pandemic; After a year of anxiety and isolation, millions of Americans a day are getting immunized against Covid-19, and starting to get their lives back.
Angelica LaVito, John Tozzi and Jill R. Shah – Bloomberg
The nation’s first Covid-19 vaccine started to arrive at hospitals across the country, nine months after the coronavirus shuttered the U.S. economy, killed hundreds of thousands and wreaked havoc on every aspect of American life. That day reflected both a landmark scientific achievement and a logistical triumph.
*****Someone has a good PR team.~JJL
Vaccines Become a Race Against Time as CDC Warns of Covid Surge
Emma Court – Bloomberg
Walensky, Biden call attention to risks of complacency; Not enough Americans are vaccinated to stave off a new wave
The U.S. could soon go the way of Europe, with a burgeoning resurgence of the coronavirus, as states loosen restrictions and more contagious variants become increasingly prominent, the nation’s top public health official warned. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said she had a feeling of “impending doom” amid a new wave of infections even as the number of Americans vaccinated continues to rise. Scientists nationwide are calling out the dangers of loosening state measures like mask mandates and capacity restrictions.
*****Here we get some unvarnished thoughts. “Impending doom” is not good.~JJL
CME Group Announces Micro E-mini Equity Options Reach More Than 1 Million Contracts Traded
CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today announced that more than 1 million options on its Micro E-mini S&P 500 and Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures contracts have traded since launch on August 31, 2020. In addition, options on Micro E-mini Nasdaq-100 futures achieved a single-day trading record of 1,948 contracts on March 25, surpassing the prior record of 1,934 contracts reached on March 10.
*****For an institutional market, the CME keeps having success with retail-friendly contracts, and should expect a big winner on their Micro Bitcoin futures.~JJL
Monday’s Top Three
On Monday, the most-read story was from Forbes, Robinhood Trader May Face $800,000 Tax Bill. Bloomberg had the second-best read, which looked at some interesting trades that occurred on Friday, ‘Unprecedented’: Wall Street Ponders Goldman’s Block-Trade Spree. The third most clicked was Mashable’s capture of a hilarious skit that was broadcast on Saturday, Pete Davidson explains NFTs in another amazing Eminem parody on ‘SNL’.